Carrie Bickmore’s emotional plea: “How many more women have to die?”

“Tara Brown should be alive.”

On last night’s episode of The Project, co-host Carrie Bickmore perfectly articulated the feeling of hopelessness that threatens to overwhelm Australia with every new reported case of domestic violence.

“It just feels like it’s getting worse, it just feels like every second headline I read is the same story… and they’re the ones we’re hearing about,” she told the panel.

Before the discussion, Bickmore had delivered a powerful segment analysing our response to threats of domestic violence in the wake of the murder of 24-year-old Tara Brown and two other cases, which occurred yesterday.

“Last night a woman died from head injuries allegedly inflected by her former partner,” Bickmore said, referring to Brown.

“A week ago she sought help from police but was turned away.

“How many more women have to die before we take these threats seriously?”

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Watch the segment and discussion that followed here (post continues after video):

All too often we hear the same statistics;

  • one woman killed by a current of former partner each week,
  • a third of women over 15 physically assaulted,
  • one in four having experienced emotional abuse,
  • one in five experiencing sexual violence.

But as Bickmore points out, “it’s only when you put a face to the violence that the horror really sinks in.”

“There are women who are suffering and dying now and we need to do something to help them,” she said.

Read Brown’s story here: ‘Road rage’ did not kill Tara Brown.

The Project team reached out to some of Brown’s friends, one of whom described her “as a great mum, humble, kind- just a real cool girl with a smile on her face all the time.”

Another explained that Brown had been scared in the week preceding her murder, after breaking up with her partner- the former Bandido’s sergeant at arms.

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An image of Tara Brown shown on The Project.

And this is the crux of it: Brown knew she was in danger.

She had told her friends and gone to the police, but they had sent her away, unable to help her.

“In the wake of Tara Brown’s murder, police are asking questions about the appropriateness of their response,” Bickmore said.

“Campaigners are asking questions about the other systems we have in place.

“But those questions should have been answered long ago and Tara Brown should be alive.”

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